Soda Straw Tricks
© Frank Ford, 3/25/98, 10/9/00; Photos by FF, 3/17/98, 10/3/00

I don't know about yours, but my parts drawer has petrified masking tape bonding screws to tailpieces and other things:

Now all I do is bang a staple through the end of a plastic straw and drop the screws in. I pound another staple at the other end, and clip it to length. I can see what sets of screws I have, and how many are in there!

Here's a really creative idea from Rob Bruce:

Take the appropriate size dowel and wind a few turns of masking tape around the end, and you have a long fat syringe. It's great for depositing thick glue way down inside guitar, or wherever.

His favorite use for this trick is to deliver "barge cement" to install certain kinds of contact pickups under guitar tops. That glue is really noxious stuff, and you wouldn't want to contaminate any kind of decent tools with it.

My old luthier pal, Larry Cohea, taught me this one. Cut a straw at a diagonal and use it as a little scoop to clean up glue squeeze-out. When your scoop is full, just snip the gooey end off, and keep going:

Before you say anything, I'll admit I dummied this picture. My photos are of real jobs in progress, but I wanted to get this one done quickly, so I cheated. You can tell because there aren't any clamps on the bridge. Besides, I use hide glue for bridges, not Titebond. . .

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